Seniors: Am I Losing My Mind?

Apr 16th, 2010 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Likely not yet!  Forgetfulness is a troubling experience.  However, by itself it does not suggest you are sinking into some abyss of loss of complete memory.  It is natural and widespread.  There are exercises to help with memory.  There are some medications that purport to be helpful.  More than anything else imposing the discipline to goad your memory is likely the best remedy. 

While it is easy to slide into bad memory habits, it is also easy to head them off.  Encourage your daily routine so that it becomes second nature to do the things that you need to do.  Check yourself to be aware that you are doing those tasks.  Allow others to assist you, but do not depend on their remembering or doing your own set of duties. 

Keeping the mind functional and functioning requires the discipline of exercise, just like the rest of the body.  As we age, these disciplines become increasingly important and essential.  It also contributes to your being an easier person to live with.   

Try these techniques for a while, see if  your memory is more alert than you thought. 

Focus on what you need to remember.  Distraction is a major cause of forgetfulness.  Going for one thing, while stopping to do another is a major cause of distraction.  Stay on track.  Try to keep from multitasking your mind all at once.  Accomplish one thing before moving to another. Group the things you need to remember.  Make a list. 

Attend to ordinary easily remembered details first.  Move on to other tasks, only after getting the primary daily tasks done.  If necessary, while having your first cup of coffee, make a list of the extraneous duties that await you today:  errands to run, items to purchase, etc.

Avoid interruptions.  If involved in any of the day’s undertaking requiring your undivided attention, turn off your cell phone., stay centered on the task at hand.  Do not allow anything to impede your accomplishing your task.  When finished, then move on to the next undertaking.

Keep the items important to daily duties in a centralized common place and don’t vary keeping them there when not in use.  Here  we speak of car keys, glasses, wallet, other daily used items which need not consume an inordinate amount of time locating.

Refuse to become anxious when you do misplace something.  It will show up.  Recently I misplaced my calendar.  I let it go for about an hour and walla, I found it tucked inside my brief case.  Logical.  No stress.  Placed where it belongs. 

Things like turning off the coffee pot, closing the garage door, getting the garbage out on the right day simply need the boost of reminders.  Stick it notes serve that function well.  Don’t depend on others to prompt your memory.  Work your own brain cells enough that you depend principally on yourself.



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